Friends, Paul Bunyan, and meatballs

Whenever I am transitioning to a new place (which is, apparently, every few months or so), weekends are usually the hardest. I have too much down time, I find myself in super awkward church situations, and quite frankly, they are really lonely.

With this in mind, I am happy to say that I have gotten to a place here in Chicago where I no longer feel like that is the case. Thanks to the awesome DOOR staffers (who are cool hanging out with someone outside "their age group"), and a ton of my friends coming to visit me, weekends have been awesome. And actually I like my job so much that even though I am getting paid practically nothing and work "overtime" all the time, weekends and week days don't feel very different. It is wonderful. I get to hang out with incredible people, cook some food, and watch as something interesting happens to me almost every single day.

Chicago, you are great.

Here is a brief recap (mainly so I can post photos) of the past few days.

On Saturday, my dear friends, Kare and Tracy, came up to visit me. I don't get to see these incredible women very often, so I was very excited to hang out with them all day long.

When they arrived I took them up to my favorite place ever - Cafe Too in Uptown (now called Inspiration Kitchen) for some brunch. (There is actually another branch in my neighborhood, but they don't have a coffee bar...) And what is brunch without Eggs Benedict and an iced mocha? ( I had the roasted sweet potato Benedict, which was actually fairly overpowering but still awesome).

Actually the best part of the meal was an unexpected surprise. Before our food arrived one of the waiters put a plate of bread pudding on our table.

um, we didn't order this.

We eventually go the waitress's attention and asked if we got someone's order by mistake We did not. Apparently the waiter just wanted to gift us with this piece of dessert as a way of being hospitable. (See, coolest place ever). I don't actually like bread pudding in theory. Soggy bread is not my thing. I used to make it at mojos and I thought it was really average. But of course I tried what was gifted to us.

Oh. My. Gosh. It was the best thing ever. wow. People, I cannot even explain to you how life changing it was.

After brunch we headed towards the lake to relax....

before we hit up unique - a thrift store in Uptown. (Somehow I managed to be there 3 days this past week).

Later, we stopped in Wicker Park before heading to the loop to indulge in one touristy thing of the day - Chicago style pizza. yum...

On Sunday, my Radical Journey sister, Constance arrived. (She is here for the week. hooray!). And that afternoon Connie, Krista, and I headed way out of town to Governor's State University to watch "Ragtime." (A musical I had never seen but knew the entire soundtrack by heart. So needless to say, I was pretty excited). The musical was really good but the best part of this trip down there was that right when we entered GSU's campus.

"What the hell?" Krista was the one who noticed it first. And really that was a pretty good summary of our impression. Standing by a group of trees was this massive Paul Bunyan statue, looking like he failed at life.

What? We still don't understand. But, wow, we laughed a lot.

And now today. It is Monday, but it has been really great since Constance and Anna - the dynamic cooking team is back again. Connie has been a champ and has been helping me cook while she is here. Today we decided to make spaghetti and homemade meatballs (with a homemade marinara sauce too). (We also had homemade bread and cake). Yes. It was a good day to be at DOOR. (Sorry that is totally a humble brag).

It's always been really hard for me to scale back. I started off this summer cooking for 70 people. (Ugh, I will never forget what trying to brown 33 pounds of ground beef was like).

This week, including staff, we have about 25 - most of whom are not very big eaters.

Somehow, we still ended up making 215 meatballs. Insanity. But still awesome.

 I can't believe I only have two weeks left.

Dang it.


  1. Yum! I wish I could come visit and eat some of your delicious meatballs! Actually I'm game for anything homemade


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